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Taking It On The Chin Like A Champ

, , , , , | Healthy | October 3, 2022

When I was in elementary school, my parents split up. In order to make ends meet, my mother took a new job that required her to leave the house at 5:00 am. Since I was quite stubborn and independent, I simply asked for an alarm clock and proceeded to get myself ready and out of the house on time on my own.

For the most part, this worked well. My mother called our house at the time I needed to be up, we chatted for a few moments, and I got ready and went to school.

When the phone rang one morning, I leaped out of bed. Unfortunately, my nightshirt snagged on the bedpost and I faceplanted onto the floor, chin first. It hurt like h*** and I dashed to the phone crying. 

While talking to my mother about what had happened, I wiped my tears on my purple nightshirt. Some got on my hand, and to my surprise, the liquid was red instead of clear. Since we didn’t have a cordless phone, I told my mother I’d call her back and went to the closest mirror to inspect my face. To my horror, my chin had a gaping cut. After informing my mother about this, I got dressed and waited for her to pick me up and take me to the hospital.

Of course, I needed stitches. Unfortunately for the whole ER, I was terrified of needles, and the doctor tried to give me the anaesthetic in a — to my eyes — gigantic syringe as big as my arm which, due to the nature of the injury, approached my face way too close for comfort. 

After a few minutes of screaming, my mother took me to the hospital shop in order to calm me down. She bought me a small plushie under the condition that I would have to be brave and let the doctor stitch me up.

When we returned to the ER, rinse and repeat the screaming. The doctor was so fed up that she proposed to stitch me up without anaesthetic. Content to be spared the gigantic syringe, I consented.

The doctor spread a cloth over my face and started stitching. I clutched my new plushie and let the doctor stitch me up without fussing, since the cloth prevented me from seeing anything.

Of course, the doctor could have picked up the syringe again instead of the needle. Maybe she was just so fed up that she wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible (I wouldn’t blame her) or she was waiting for me to relent and ask for the anaesthetic. But since I was as stubborn as any ten-year-old could be, I got three stitches without anaesthetic, and twenty years later, I still have a small scar on my chin.

I never wore that nightshirt again.

If I Wanted To See That, I Would’ve Become A Nurse

, , , , , | Healthy | CREDIT: Fufflemaker99 | September 25, 2022

I’m a printer and copier tech, currently taking care of a couple of large hospitals. I go to a surgery department to fix a printer that the user describes as “printing colors weird and now jammed”.

I arrive, power it off, and unplug it. I fix a pretty standard problem that causes jamming — the paper backstop was out of place — and power it back up. Now, to the issue of the colors.

Once it’s powered up, the print jobs that were held up by the jam start churning out. I pick them up and start to study them for color issues. These are pictures that have printed, but I can’t figure out what they are pictures of, so I don’t know what the colors are SUPPOSED to look like.

Me: *To a nurse* “What is this?”

Nurse: “Aww, sugar, that’s a butthole.”

My brain is instantly horrified, and I don’t want to look again.

Me: “Oh, God. Okay, well, does it look okay to you?”

Nurse: “Naw, sweetie. That’s why he’s here.”



Me: “I MEANT THE COLORS!” *Pauses* “Never mind. I’m going to print the fruit.”

Make A Bad Call, Get A Whole Lot More

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: ashtit | September 15, 2022

I work in healthcare where phones are not to be used while on the floor, caring for patients, etc. This is for privacy reasons, which is fine and understandable. Most of us have our phones on us or in the break room, and we don’t use them unless on break or away from patient care areas. None of us check our phones while busy, and if we do, we always get called out for it by other staff.

We have a meeting with our manager.

Manager: “You are no longer allowed to have your phones on you, as it is a distraction and it’s against policy. This means phones are not to be used unless you are out of the unit or off hospital grounds.”

A few people pipe up and say they have young kids in care where their phone is the direct communication for the carers. Some have issues at home for which they need to have their phones to have quick contact if needed, even if their phones are left in their handbags and can be checked on breaks. Not only that, but we have a half-hour unpaid lunch break where we should be able to use our phones as we see fit. This is also denied as it’s still in a healthcare setting and could cause WHS issues.

Now, I know working in healthcare and personal mobile phones don’t mix as it really is against policy. However, denying us complete access is a total overreach. The issues with requiring quick and direct contact with home or other outside work contacts are brushed off.

Manager: “If your issues are that bad at home, you shouldn’t be at work.”

Many people are a bit taken aback by this, saying that a lot of the home issues are resolved by a quick text back and that not allowing us access to our phones while at work is a bit unreasonable.

Manager: “If that is the case, you may give people my direct work number. Contact can go through me, and I will relay messages to you or give my phone to you to talk to the caller.”

Cue malicious compliance. We all give our at-home spouses, carers, schools, etc., the direct work line to call for any reason if they are unable to get in contact with us directly, and the phone starts ringing continuously.

First is a lady whose husband needs approval for a big financial decision at home. The next is a vet calling to tell a coworker their dog needs to be put down. I get a call from my children’s daycare saying my son has been bitten and is bleeding (mandatory reporting policy).

There are several other phone calls within the span of a few hours. My manager is constantly running to find us to relay messages or pull us off the floor so we can speak to the callers, wasting more time than if we were allowed to shoot through a quick text or take a quick phone call while on our breaks.

The next day, we are given new instructions.

Manager: “You may access your phones while on breaks. Please tell your home contacts to stop calling my phone.”

It took a few days for everyone to get the message, meaning there were still many unnecessary calls coming through, but it made it obvious that the need for communication lines to be open at home was important.

The Biggest Space Is Between Her Ears

, , , , , | Right | September 14, 2022

I sometimes try to help nurses at my hospital with their computer troubles. I had a nurse come to me extremely upset and unwilling to even let me try to fix her “problem” because I “probably wouldn’t get it anyway.” Her problem was, in her own words:

Nurse: “I have a tendency when stressed out to rest my thumb on the spacebar and not notice.”

This caused obvious problems for her as she needed to type patient status updates, emails, etc. and they all had huge blank spaces in them where she’d just inserted twenty seconds of spacebar presses.

This, to her, was the computer’s fault because:

Nurse: “It should be advanced enough to know that I don’t want all of those spaces in there. Who would want those?”

Twenty minutes later, I finally convinced her that there was no way for the computer to know if she really wants all of the spaces or not because it relied on the user to enter spaces if they wanted spaces and not enter spaces if they didn’t want spaces.

She still thinks it’s the computer’s fault and is now resolved to “work around the computer’s problem, even if it causes delays for her.”

How brave.

Don’t Bite The Hand That Fixes Your Systems!

, , , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Sarrish | September 13, 2022

Back in the Dark Ages, around 1993, I worked for a medical transcription firm as their SysAdmin. We were doing some cutting-edge IT stuff in getting transcriptions printed at the hospitals remotely and using print queues with the modem number hardcoded in, and the system would look for queues with anything in them and dial the number if it found something in that queue. It worked really well… until it didn’t.

I was the only SysAdmin in this city, so I was on call twenty-four-seven, 365 days a year. I was averaging three hours of sleep per night when I could go home, and I tried to catch little catnaps here and there when I could. Any time something would go wrong on the hospital side, I would have to go to the hospital and fix it.

A few months after I started, two of the vice presidents from corporate relocated to my city since we were the most productive city with the highest profits. The first thing they did was come up with an excuse to fire the current director, and then they took over operations themselves. Then, my job went from taking care of our systems to taking care of the doctors’ computers, too. I did what I could, but I was also sending out resumes.

Then, I was told to go to a hospital and see why the printing had stopped. I remember this day. I hadn’t been home for two days and had been going nonstop for eighteen hours. I got there and someone had unplugged the modem. I plugged it back in, a call came in, and jobs started printing. This doctor walked over to talk to me.

Doctor: “[Vice President #1] told me that you’d go out to my house and work on my home computer.”

Me: *Politely* “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that. I’m heading home to get some sleep.”

Then, I headed back to the office to pick up a few things before heading home.

As soon as I walked through the door, I was escorted straight to the vice presidents’ office. Both vice presidents and the office manager were there. They proceed to start chewing me out. I just started laughing at them. I was the only person in 1,000 miles who knew anything about this system. They lost their temper and told me I was fired and was to leave immediately. I really said, “Thank you.” Then, I left.

On the way home, I stopped at a mom-and-pop computer store where I knew some of the people to drop off a resume.

Manager: “We have no openings right now, but we’ll call you when we do!”

I talked to a couple of friends while I was there and then headed home. The only thing I was worried about was telling my girlfriend that I had gotten fired. I walked through the door, and she was at work. I saw the answering machine blinking, so I hit play.

Voicemail: “Hi, this is [Manager] from [Mom-And-Pop Computer Store]. Our primary Novell Engineer just quit. Are you still available?”

I called them back and let them know I’d be there the next day. That began a much more peaceful career with better pay, rotating on-call, and almost every weekend and holiday off.

The medical transcription firm imploded. The vice presidents were fired. They floundered for about a year and were bought up by a competing firm.